The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Lesotho's Sehlabathebe National Park given UN World Heritage Status


Pretoria - Mount Fuji was recognized on 22 June 2013 as a United Nation educational and cultural agency's World Heritage site, along with seven others on a list that for the first time includes sites in Fiji and Qatar. The Committee also honoured Lesotho's Sehlabathebe National Park as an extension to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in South Africa, which is now to be named Maloti Drakensberg Tranboundary World Heritage Site. Members praised the "spectacularly beautiful watershed area" that hosts flora and fauna of scientific importance. It is also home to three endangered species, the Maloti Minnow, a species of fish found only in the Park, and the Cape and Bearded Vultures.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, meeting this month in Cambodia, is reviewing 32 proposed sites and reviewing several already on the list.

In selecting Fuijisan, as it is officially known, the Committee said the beauty of the solitary, often snow-capped, stratovolcano "rising above villages and tree-fringed sea and lakes has long inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimages."

In the 12th century, Fujisan became the centre of training for ascetic Buddhism. The inscribed property consists of 25 sacred sites including Sengen-jinja shrines, Oshi lodging houses and waterfalls.

The Committee on 22 June 2013 also selected to honour Al Zubarah Archaeological Site in Qatar, country's first inscription. The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century and early 19th centuries, before it was destroyed and finally abandoned in the 1900s. Its remains, which include palaces, mosques, streets and fishermen's huts, were protected by a layer of sand blown from the desert.

UNESCO called the site "an outstanding testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition" which eventually led to the emergence of modern day Gulf States.

Also honoured for the first time on 22 June, Fiji's Levuka Historical Port Town has been added to the list. The town and its low line of buildings set among coconut and mango trees along the beach front was the first colonial capital of Fiji, ceded to the British in 1874.

Noting its "unique landscape," the UN agency said the site was a rare example of a late colonial port town that was influenced in its development by the indigenous community which continued to outnumber the European settlers.

In Portugal, the Committee honoured the University of Coimbra which over seven centuries became a reference in the development of other institutions of higher learning in the Portuguese-speaking world.

The UN agency also inscribed the Historic Centre of Agadez in Niger which is known as the gateway to the Sahara desert. Developed in the 15th and 16th centuries, the historic centre of the city was an important crossroads of the caravan trade. Its structures include a 27 meters high minaret made entirely of brick, the highest such structure in the world.

From Canada, UNESCO honoured the Red Bay Basque whaling station established by mariners in the 16th century and now provides "the earliest, most complete and best preserved testimony of the European whaling tradition." The station was used for 70 years before the local whale population was depleted.

In a separate meeting, the UN Committee inscribed the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in China. Created by the Hani people over the past 1,300 years, the terraces are a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops. They are used by 82 villages for farming that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel, and supports the production of the area's primary crop, red rice.

Also today, UNESCO held an inauguration ceremony at Vietnman's My Son Sanctuary which has been undergoing 16 years of excavation and restoration work. The tower temples and monuments were once part of the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom Under steady rainfall, dancers and musicians lined the path leading through lush forest to the G Group of monuments, where a brief religious ceremony was held to consecrate the restored 16 structures.

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova awarded certificates to these local workers in recognition of their contribution to help excavate, clean and document artefacts, and restore the brick structures using techniques specially developed for the purpose.

A World Heritage Site since 1999, the My Son Sanctuary, located in Quang Nam province amidst a hilly landscape, comprises eight groups of 71 monuments built throughout the 7th to 13th centuries.
The site is one of six, along with Preah Vihear pictured above, included in a sub-regional exhibit now on show in museums in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The project, which also includes pieces from Angkor, Vat Phou, the Ho Citadel and the Thang Long Citadel aims to highlight the interconnections of these sites and populations, in addition to the role of Southeast Asia in global history.

The exhibits consist of panels developed by the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum centres around the theme of the historical context and discovery of the "274 Buddhist statues from Banteay Kdei in Angkor". They follow the common themes developed by UNESCO and experts on "Natural World" and "Trade and Exchange".

UNIC - Pretoria

 


 
 
 
 

_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6th African Film Week in Athens 13 March 2017 The 6th African Film Week taking place in Greece, brings to the big screen charming images from the African Continent: Urban legends, exoticism from... <|> Early warning centre for South Africa and Nigeria 14 March 2017 South Africa and Nigeria have agreed to establish an early warning centre to help mitigate and monitor possible threats and violence... <|> Abron Band from Iran share peace with music at Tsarogaphoka Primary School by Kgomotso Kgoale 14 March 2017 Kgwebong Consulting, an Organisation Development company that is dedicated to the... <|> Arctic Council at 20: Making a Difference Regionally By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society  We all know the temperatures are rising in the Arctic twice as fast as the... <|> Marrying of two iconic World Heritage Sites: South Africa’s Robben Island and Mauritius’ Le Morne Cultural Landscape 20 March 2017 Robben Island World Heritage Site (RIWHS) and Le Morne... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden 21 March 2017 Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre,... <|> The SADC We Want 19 March 2017 President Jacob Zuma was among the regional leaders who participated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and... <|> Coschem Creativity Award presented to Surinamese... <|> The Smurfs and the United Nations: Teaming up for a happier, more peaceful and more equitable world 20 March 2017 The popular Smurfs characters are encouraging children, young people and adults to... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.